Ways To Handle A Toddler
As parents, we all know that stage. That wonderful time when we chase our naked toddlers down the hall, use mind-reading to understand their speech and clean up endless messes. Oh yes, they are still our cute babies. But, they move around faster than any adult and they are super charged dynamites.
We love our toddlers.
This is why the time has come to listen to some well-intentioned parenting advice. More than babyhood, you need advice. Right now, you need lots of unconventional wisdom in your life to cope with this atomic bomb — your toddler.
Some of this advice, you honestly won’t even understand yourself. But, you are desperate. You will try anything.
This is a good mindset. Be open. Embrace the unknown.
Within limits, don’t be afraid to try the unconventional. For me, the ones that really worked are the unconventional well-intentioned advice that I received.
A big thank you to all the parents, grandparents and neighborhood teachers who shared their wisdom with me.
Do not trust your toddler’s words.
Check, check and check some more. Your toddler is learning to speak. Words are jumbled. Experiences are jumbled. Emotions are jumbled. Even when your toddler says “No”, there’s a 50% of a chance that he or she means “Yes”. I have plenty of moments when my toddler says “Yes, want snack.” Then, he runs away to play with his friends.
Bribing your toddler has its place in parenting.
When you are desperately in need of a quiet shopping trip to replenish that empty refrigerator, do not hesitate to bribe your child as the last resort. I have saved so much time when I simply bribed my child with fruits, candy and chocolate to get through my shopping trip. When it’s a choice between getting through your day with a smile and stare at my empty refrigerator, I always choose the option of getting through my day with a smile.
When your toddler wants to eat foods you don’t want to share, tell your toddler it’s spicy.
This is definitely my magic weapon when my toddler rummages through the refrigerator. I even tell my child that certain chocolate is spicy. My child has one container in the refrigerator that is “his food”. The rest are off-limits. Everything is spicy on “my” shelves.
Trump is what happens when you always give in to your kids’ temper tantrums.
This is by far the best advice I received early on. Starting at the age of 13 months, setting boundaries slowly and consistently changed our life. With age, each day is a positive discipline battle ground. In order to win as a parent of a child who is receptive to discipline, repeating boundaries over and over again is the key. Temper tantrum is the child’s way of saying “no”. There are many ways that we can say “yes” without giving in to the temper tantrums. We can say “yes” by simply giving two acceptable alternatives. We can say “yes” by demonstrating consequences and providing simple explanations. At the same time, we must assert our boundaries in the process.
Cherish the day you buy your first minivan because that will be the last day it is ever clean.
For the first year of parenthood, I bought an unlimited pass to have my car cleaned inside out every week. Then, slowly, I realized how that didn’t really make a difference. Now, I clean the car every week myself. Even though, I adhere to my cleaning routine, there are still crackers we have yet to find under the carseat. Each chicken nugget I give to my toddler, I have to account for. I make sure that he either eats the nugget or gives the nugget to me. Otherwise, it will be wedged somewhere inside the car until I find it.
When your toddler starts to cry for no reason, ask your toddler: “Did you poop?”
This is most definitely the number one reason that my toddler comes into the room crying to me. It’s usually that the nugget has landed on the side of the potty. Better yet, the nugget has landed in an entirely different room. Oh sweet pea, we really have work on landing that nugget in the potty next time!
Do not under any circumstances play ball with your toddler inside the house.
The play session will end with either someone crying or a lamp broken. Set boundaries about where certain physical activities should take place now. In the winter, if ball play has to happen indoors. It can happen in a minimalistic play room with no furniture. You don’t need another trip to the emergency room because someone broke a toe on the furniture.
Dress your toddler in tomorrow’s clothing when your toddler comes out of the bath at night.
Those pajamas looked great on your baby. But, the game has changed since your baby turned into a toddler. The aim now is to get out of the house in a timely fashion in the morning. Rather than enjoying an Instagram picture of your toddler sleeping in those cute pajamas, what makes you really perk up in the morning is really the sunshine as soon as all of you get out of the door. The morning routine already takes two hours. Do you really want to add an additional hour for a wrestling match with your toddler?
About the Author
Jun Wu is a Content Writer for Technology, AI, Data Science, Psychology, and Parenting. She has a background in programming and statistics. On her spare time, she writes poetry and blogs on her website.